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Finding Meaning in Life When Nothing Makes Sense

March 08, 2006

Category: Events, Students


MackyThe March 21st Catawba College Community Forum will feature producer, director, writer and award-winning independent documentary film maker Macky Alston.  The 7:30 p.m. event will take place in Tom Smith Auditorium of Ralph W. Ketner Hall on the campus and is free and open to the public.

When the executive vice president of original programming for HBO wrote about the Alston, she commented: "HBO and Cinemax Reel Life are committed to documentaries that capture the daring, vivid moments of life and push the boundaries of our expectations.  With Questioning Faith, Macky Alston is creating just such a film—one that presents significant opportunities to break the mold of where documentaries can go.  It's thrilling to witness the growth of a gifted voice such as Macky's and to help it reach audiences nationwide."

Macky Alston graduated from Columbia University and began studying for the ministry before dropping out to begin a career as a documentary film maker.  Questions of faith and human existence continued to occupy his mind and his work, however, and he eventually returned to complete his seminary degree.  Alston studied with some of the most cutting-edge theologians of our time.  He also worked as a hospital chaplain and counseled people who were questioning the purpose of life in the face of illness and tragedy.  

Following the death of one of his own classmates, Macky turned to working on his soon to be released film, Questioning Faith, which deals with questions such as, "How can anyone believe in God, any god, after experiencing life at its most devastating?" and "What is it about human nature that leads one person to find religion in the midst of such chaos and another to lose it?"

Alston's earlier film, Family Name, won the Freedom of Expression Award at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Historical Programming.  It has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show, and Siskel and Ebert's review of the film in The New York Times gave it "two thumbs up, way up…."

Alston's visit to Catawba is part of the 2006 Lilly Center Colloquium, sponsored by the College's Lilly Center for Vocation and Values.  While on campus, he will also speak to students, faculty and staff at several otherEvents.

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